RCMP CFP Evaluation

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Since everyone was proclaiming that the RCMP’s Canadian Firearms Program “Evaluation” was the next best thing to sliced bread, prior to the Day Democracy Died, I thought it would benefit my readers to conduct a critical analysis of said document.

Firstly, this “performance evaluation” was written by the RCMP themselves.  How many of you get to write your own “performance evaluations” for your jobs?  Would anyone really believe that you would say anything bad about yourself?  Why should we expect anything different from them?

This analysis is intended to point out the flaws in the RCMP’s reasoning, and where they make unsubstantiated assertions – in effect, distilling out the lies and bafflegab.

RCMP, Canadian Firearms Program Evaluation, Final Approved Report, February 2010

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Introduction

This report presents a Strategic Evaluation of the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP), in response to a recommendation contained in the Tenth Report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts[1] published in December 2006 in Chapter 4 of the May 2006 Report of the Auditor General of Canada (Canadian Firearms Program (CFP)) and in accordance with the Treasury Board policy on Transfer Payments.

Methodology

The scope of the strategic evaluation is limited to direct costs incurred by the CFP and RCMP partners in the administration of the CFP (see section 2.5 for a definition of direct and indirect costs). The evaluation covers the key evaluation issues of relevance, success, cost-effectiveness and implementation of the CFP.

In October 2007, members of the RCMP’s National Program Evaluation Service (NPES) began conducting provincial interviews for the Canadian Firearms Program. Most of the interviews were arranged in advance and candidates were randomly selected from large groupings where possible. Two (2) opt-in provinces were visited: New Brunswick and Ontario; and three (3) opt-out: British Columbia, Alberta and the territory of Nunavut. The following key findings were summarized from interviews and open source documents.

The methodology and results of this “survey” are found in Appendix F.

This is who participated in the survey:

A Senior Managers (i.e.: OIC, CFO, Senior Partners)

B Managers (i.e.: Processing Center): Processing Centre; CFO’s office

C Government Agencies (Police Justice): Police; Government Agencies; Advisory Committee; Safety Instructors; Firearms Officers; Conservation/ Game Officers; Crown; NWEST; Guns & Gangs

D Special Interest: Gun Clubs/ Ranges, Owners; Businesses; Aboriginal; Health; Victims Groups; Education

E Frontline Staff

Of these groupings, only C and D contain any of what I would call “pro-gun” activists.  Since there is no breakdown of who or how many of each group were interviewed, there is no telling just what component of this survey had a “pro-gun” attitude.  No doubt the vast majority of respondents had an “anti-gun” or “pro registry” point of view.  Most were actual employees of the “system”, so they had a vested interest in keeping the whole thing going – I mean, who’s going to vote themselves out of a job?

Introduction: Group “A”- includes all of the questions – and the first page is the same for all interviewees

You have been asked to participate today in an evaluation of the Canadian Firearms Program.

The evaluation of this program commenced in response to a recommendation from the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Tenth Report, Dec 2006) and in accordance with the Treasury Board policy on Transfer Payments. Criteria included in the evaluation include: relevance, success, cost-effectiveness and implementation of the Canadian Firearms Program.

The evaluation scope is limited to direct costs incurred by the Canadian Firearms Center and RCMP partners in the administration of the Canadian Firearms Program. The administrative side of the Canadian Firearms Program relates primarily to firearm*(1): licensing, registration, safety courses and interfaces with the law enforcement community.

It should be noted that the criminal enforcement component is separate from the Canadian Firearms Program and is not a direct subject of this evaluation.

This evaluation is being conducted by personnel from RCMP Evaluation, located at Ottawa Headquarters.

Your assistance in participating in the evaluative interview is very much appreciated.

Note: (1) ‘firearms’ refer to both long-guns and handguns.

Just for reference’s sake – I’ll do a more thorough examination of Appendix F in a subsequent post.

The RCMP’s National Program Evaluation Services reviewed existing literature relating to gun policy and regulatory models, with particular emphasis on public safety issues, including suicide, accidental deaths and homicide.

What literature?  I couldn’t find a bibliography, and there isn’t an extensive number of footnotes that refer to such literature.

Limitations

The evaluation was delayed due in large part to the need for more reliable statistical public safety data. While there is acknowledgment of the “inconsistent and contradictory” [2] data that exist, the Evaluation team devoted a large portion of time to determining new data and then researching and analyzing, with the help of Statistics Canada personnel, most of the data provided in the findings and in the open source document found in the statistical section of this report.

[2]http://cmte.parl.gc.ca/cmte/CommitteePublication.aspx?COM=10466&Lang=1&SourceId=185587

MacKay, Robin. Legislative Analysis: Bill S5- The Long Gun Registry Repeal Act., Parliamentary and Information Research Service, 2009. “Information and statistics used to evaluate the efficacy of Canada’s firearm registry in reducing crime, and therefore the merits of a bill to eliminate the long gun registry, have been inconsistent and contradictory.”

Gee, they’ve had 15 years to come up with evidence to show whether the CFP has been effective.  If it had been effective, you’d think that they’d have incontravertible proof by now…

This “new data” is contained in the section after the last page of the evaluation, and before Appendix A.  It is entitled:

Canadian Firearms Program Evaluation

Statistical Overview

Open-Source Data

At first glance, it doesn’t seem to be anything more than “slides” from a Power Point presentation…It consists of 47 pages of graphs and tables, mostly a rehash of Statistics Canada usual stuff.  Nothing really “new” or revelatory here.  It is basically just an update with the latest available figures (2007)

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Canadian Firearms Program – Overview

The Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) is an operational service line within the RCMP’s Policing Support Services. The CFP’s strategic outcome is, “Increased public safety through effective risk management of firearms and their users”. The Program’s mission, mandate and core values, and commitment to “Safe Homes, Safe Communities” support four of the RCMP’s strategic priorities: Organized Crime, Terrorism, Youth and Aboriginal Communities.

Where is the proof that honest, gun owning citizens were ever “the problem”?  What kind of “risk” do we present?  What kind of “proof” is there showing how much of a “risk” the average gun owner is?

CFP works with the provinces and territories, with national organizations that have an ongoing interest in firearms safety and with many firearms and hunter education instructors across Canada, in promoting safe storage, display, transportation and handling of firearms.

1) “Safe storage” laws are bogus to begin with

2) There is a minimal practical “handling” portion to the safety course, and no target shooting part.

3) If “safety training” were so important, they would be instituting age-appropriate safe gun handling and use classes in our schools

4) “Safety training” does not need to be tied to a “license”

5) What empirical evidence is there that average gun owners were somehow “unsafe” prior to the Firearms Act?

Mission

In concert with the RCMP’s mission statement of “Safe Homes, Safe Communities”, the CFP’s mission is to:

prevent the misuse of firearms in Canada; and

enhance public safety by helping reduce death, injury and threat from firearms through responsible ownership, use and storage of firearms.

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The CFP is intended to promote public safety through a process involving the effective risk management of firearms and their users by:

controlling the acquisitions, possession and ownership of firearms;

regulating certain types of firearms; and

supporting law enforcement agencies in preventing and investigating firearm crimes and incidents.

More self-stroking meaningless jabbering – where’s the proof that they have been effective at accomplishing any of this?  Completely unsupported statements…

Core Activities

The Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) is a multi-departmental and multi-jurisdictional program for which the RCMP has the lead responsibility. The core activities of the Program are shown in the following diagram:

You will notice that there is  no mention of “criminals” anywhere in that diagram.

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In the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, program operations are funded by the Firearms Funding Program through contribution agreements entered into between the Government of Canada and individual provinces (see Appendix B for a breakdown of contribution agreements by province).

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Roles and Responsibilities

The Firearms Act and its regulations, specifically the Firearms Records Regulations, establish the basic framework for the Canadian Firearm Information System (CFIS) which is administered by the RCMP. It is the official repository for license and registration information for the CFP. The Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) interfaces with CFIS to provide timely information to CFOs making decisions about client licensing and continuous eligibility, and to police officers enforcing the Criminal Code of Canada. The Canadian Firearms Registry On-line (CFRO) is a subset of CFIS. CFRO is available to Canadian police agencies via CPIC to assist police officers responding to calls and conducting investigations. Firearms records regulations facilitate more effective enforcement.(1) This information helps police and other public-safety officials carry out criminal and other public safety-related investigations effectively by quickly tracing a firearm to its last legal owner and facilitating the recovery and return of lost or stolen firearms to their rightful owner.(2)

(1) How, exactly?

(2) How many, exactly?

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The CFOs (both federal and provincial) are responsible for:

licensing (related to individuals, businesses, shooting clubs and ranges, and minors) and continuous eligibility activities (including secondary investigations[7], final licensing decisions, and reference hearings, if required);

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conducting spousal notifications in some cases[8];

[7] Secondary screening involves the analysis of “hits”, or potential matches to Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) records that have not been excluded automatically by the Accreditation System or excluded manually by the Accreditation Unit staff of the Canadian Firearms Registry. The potential matches reviewed are a result of accreditation performed on a new licence application or continuous eligibility screening performed on those who already hold a valid firearms licence. Secondary screening consists of obtaining additional information on the potential matches to CPIC records by querying regional police incident-reporting databases, court or provincial databases, and by contacting police, other agencies or individuals directly for information (as per CPIC services policy).

[8] In those cases where there is no current/former spouse or common law partner signature or where contact information is incomplete.

What is this “Accreditation System”?  This is the first time I’ve heard of this – how does it work?  Who gets “accredited”?  How?

Does this mean that not everyone is “screened” unless they match some “hit” information?  Wayne Easter said something like this:

37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION
EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 110

CONTENTS
Tuesday, June 3, 2003

Question No. 227–

Mr. Garry Breitkreuz:

With respect to reference and background checks done on each Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) applicant, what is the total number of PAL applications that have been processed since December 1, 1998, and how many of the two references per PAL application were actually called?

Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.):

As of May 10, 2003, the total number of PAL applications that have been processed since December 1, 1998, is 659,083. Reference checks are performed during the course of an investigation, at the discretion of the investigator, based on the issue being assessed. There are no statistics available on how many of the two references per PAL application were actually called.

The CFC is in the process of reviewing its statistical and other information requirements. This is part of our ongoing efforts to report on program achievements and effectiveness.

Well, that was in 2003 – maybe the RCMP has pulled up its socks and is now contacting all references – I wonder how much that costs.

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In response to Recommendation 4.27 of the May 2006 Auditor General Report on the CFP9, direct and indirect costs are defined as follows:

Direct Costs: represent those reimbursed by CFP to its partners for services/activities provided in support of the Program and agreed upon through a Memorandum of Agreement.

Indirect Costs: certain costs of the CFP incurred by federal partners that are not reimbursed by CFP (see Auditor General Report – Definitions). Indirect costs can be sub-divided into two categories: those costs incurred and not reimbursed by the Program. An example would be collective bargaining salary increases that are passed on to departments by Treasury Board or, overhead costs for ministerial or infrastructure support. Secondly, indirect costs can be those that are received without charge such as accommodation and employee benefits to, for example, the Public Service Dental Plan.

[9] http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/domino/reports.nsf/html/20060504ce.html#ch4hd3a

There are a couple of large tables with financial figures in them, that are a little too big to include here; I think I will provide them in tomorrow’s posting.

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** HRSDC no longer provides support services to the CFP for the Central Processing Site in Miramichi, N.B.

¿Que? I’m not sure what this is supposed to mean – what kind of “support” did they previously provide, and how does that affect the numbers?

That seems to be all for now.  Tomorrow will be the financial tables, and hopefully some kind of layman’s analysis of what they mean…


http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?pub=Hansard&doc=110&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=37&Ses=2#T1030 

37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION
EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 110

CONTENTS
Tuesday, June 3, 2003

Question No. 227–

Mr. Garry Breitkreuz:

With respect to reference and background checks done on each Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) applicant, what is the total number of PAL applications that have been processed since December 1, 1998, and how many of the two references per PAL application were actually called?

Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.):

As of May 10, 2003, the total number of PAL applications that have been processed since December 1, 1998, is 659,083. Reference checks are performed during the course of an investigation, at the discretion of the investigator, based on the issue being assessed. There are no statistics available on how many of the two references per PAL application were actually called.

The CFC is in the process of reviewing its statistical and other information requirements. This is part of our ongoing efforts to report on program achievements and effectiveness.



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